In a world staggering beneath a pandemic, I’ve been thankful for the technology that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family. Some are on the other side of the planet, and others are even in the same town. But the fact is, not all technology is helpful, and some of it has crept into our lives in ways it didn’t have the opportunity before. As I’ve worked with my therapist to adapt to the world we live in at the present, one of the things I’ve had to do is institute an “unplug” on a daily basis. I mentioned this in the post on Thursday, when I talked about sleep hygiene. I have to say, it has become a time of day I look forward to.Unplugging doesn’t have to be a bedtime routine though.
Are you stuck at home with small children? Unplug when they’re down for a nap.
Working from home? Enforce a break after work.
Finding yourself living with family out of necessity and short on space? Tell them you need some time, at whatever interval you think is necessary, and lock yourself in the bathroom, a bedroom, or climb a tree and throw sticks at anyone who comes near! (Yep, I know how crowded family living can become!)
What’s the benefit? For one, the quiet! Our brains need quiet time. We recognize this when small children become overwhelmed (often with the accompanying meltdown) and we move them to a setting away from whatever is pushing them to feel that way. That need doesn’t go away as we get older, we just get conditioned to ignore it.
Another benefit is that it allows us time for offline pursuits. People did, in fact, survive millennia without being connected to the world at all times. Read a book, write in a journal, meditate, pray, make a grocery list, cook a meal, but do it all without the use of any electronic device.
It also means we get time where our eyes can rest from the endless strain of glowing screens. Even the best screens will cause damage to your eyes over time. A little time away is good for them!
And, last but not least, you can use the time to reconnect with the people in your home. Have a conversation with your partner/husband/wife about something you’ve read recently. Let them tell you about something they’ve learned or thought about. Play a game with the kids.
For me, unplugging every day is what I need to do so I can make myself wind down for bed and rest properly. You might not need a daily unwinding, and that’s fine, too. Just make a little time where you don’t have a TV, radio, computer, phone, or other devices running. It’ll feel strange at first, but it’s so very worthwhile.